Leadership Wisconsin Remembers Ayse Somersan


Leadership Wisconsin was deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Dr. Ayse Somersan on Monday, April 17, 2017. Dr. Somersan served as the Dean and Director of University of Wisconsin-Extension, Cooperative Extension from 1988 – 1996.

During her time as Dean and Director, Somersan is credited with being one of the early standard bearers for the Wisconsin Rural Leadership Program, now known as Leadership Wisconsin. Even after leaving her position at Cooperative Extension, she remained a strong advocate for WRLP.

“She gave her time and treasure to make the program a success and life changing for those who participated,” said Connie Loden, alumna of Group XVII. “Ayse was a mentor to many of us who went through the program. She made a tremendous difference in so many of our lives.”

Somersan is remembered as an administrative force with great dedication to UWEX and its programs. She was passionate, inspiring and had an uncanny ability to encourage others to realize her vision.

Dr. Ayse Somersan will be dearly missed for her contributions to Leadership Wisconsin, Cooperative Extension and the state of Wisconsin. May our program continue her legacy and support similarly effective, memorable leaders in building a stronger Wisconsin.

To read Ayse Somersan’s full obituary, click here.

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